Vancouver Coastal Health is sounding the alarm over high rates of dental cavities amongst Richmond children.
In fact, according to the health authority, Richmond kids have the highest rate of dental cavities across the Lower Mainland, with two out of every five kindergarten children in the city having had tooth decay.
“It may seem like baby teeth aren’t important since they fall out and are replaced, but, lifelong dental health starts with baby teeth,” said Dr. Meena Dawar, medical health officer for VCH in a press release.
“Children need healthy baby teeth to sleep, smile and eat properly. Healthy baby teeth are an important part of children’s speech development and self-confidence, and play a significant role in the placement of permanent adult teeth.”
According to the Canadian Dental Association, tooth brushing should begin as soon as the first tooth can be seen with a soft-bristled brush that should be used twice per day.
Also, it’s important to ensure the toothpaste being used has fluoride, because it’s not added to the water in the Lower Mainland. VCH says fluoride “bonds” with the surface of teeth which can help them stay resistant to bacteria and decay.
“As a Richmond dentist, I see a considerable number of cases of preventable dental decay in young children,” said Dr. Randy Shew, chair of the BC Dental Association’s Childhood Dental Care Education Task Force.
The BC Dental Association’s website has a list of dentists accepting new patients, including those who treat children under four years. Additionally, VCH offers a no cost dental program for low-income families with children up to five years of age in Richmond. To access those services, call the Richmond Public Health Dental Program at 604-233-3104.
*Original article online at https://www.richmond-news.com/news/richmond-kids-have-the-most-dental-cavities-in-lower-mainland-vch-1.23807090